Patience or Priority?

The Apostle Peter was a very interesting individual.  He’s described as big and burly, a hardworking fisherman who often spoke and acted impulsively and, occasionally, irrationally.  Whatever was on his mind he would speak aloud.  Whatever fire burned in his heart stirred him into motion.  He didn’t seem to consider the consequences of his words & deeds until after the fact, and Jesus is seen repeatedly trying to get through to him with admonishment, with rebuke, with repeated instructions.

Peter sort of reminds me of myself at times.  What’s in my head, I want to get out and share, contribute my $.02 even if it doesn’t actually further the conversation.  When an idea comes to mind of something I can, should, or want to do about something or with someone, I’m usually hard-pressed to resist the urge to get going on it yesterday.  As I closed in my last post, patience tends to be a pretty challenging concept for me to grasp and put into practice.

But in Peter’s case, it seems to be less about patience and more about priority.  I read a chapter from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day, and he explored the transition Peter made from the unremarkable life of a fisherman in Galilee to the impassioned leader of the first Christian church.  He watched how Jesus made choices, observed as his Teacher made the tough decisions no one else would be able to make because of the end result He had in mind.  Peter learned what it meant to fully invest in something greater than himself, and how to lead from that place to ensure he was always staying on track with the command his Master taught him: to bear witness to the world that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

I’m realizing how paramount it is for me to pause while making a decision and weigh all the variables, to identify the contrast between what is good and what is best, what is important versus what is critical in any given circumstance. Sometimes the lines get blurred and it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between the two.  Being able to discern this difference is what sets a leader apart from the followers.

I need to learn how to decide what comes first, and that knowledge can only come from one place.  If I am to be Kingdom-minded, I need to think like my King.  And in order to think like my King, I need to spend time with Him.  So, time comes first.

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